Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tree Work

The recent storms in the area have caused a flood of emergency calls over the last few weeks. One of the emergency tree jobs is the removal of an enormous willow that was damaged. One of the broken boughs had a bee hive inside. The bees were not happy, especially as I banged around their hive removing the large broken boughs, including the upper half of their hive. The weather has been very hot as well.

None of the local beekeepers wanted the hive. So, after roping it to the ground I dragged it by means of a rope into the wooded area where they would be of no harm to the people in the area. Amazingly I was not stung even once. I was very careful, but that does not explain that with a cloud of bees swarming about that I was not stung, not even once. Only one explanation fits. Thank you, Lord!

To access the tree I am entering the property through the fence, removing the one panel each day. An alley from the street to the fence measures approximately 90 yards. Thus, I am dragging branches and hauling logs about 100 yards each trip. I’ve been traversing that distance 20 or more times each day, meaning that I am dragging and hauling the debris and equipment and my body over a mile.

Yesterday I needed to climb to a crotch about 60 feet above the ground to rope and fell the double top pieces of about 20 feet. It was a hard climb, since I was not able to position my climbing line sufficiently high to accommodate the last three or four feet. That last three to four feet of bare trunk is amazingly hard without the benefit of the climbing line. Atop this narrowing stick, I roped and cut the top boughs. The second bough caused the top to sway about three feet, then allowing the top to snap back very hard, hitting my forearm with great force. About 15 minutes later, when I was back on the ground, I was able to apply a chunk of the ice from my water jug to help reduce the swelling.

Such is the routine of an arborist.

This, too, is a reminder of how God cares for us continually. The Lord kept me from more serious harm. The area of the top where it snapped back and struck me was sharp and jagged. It easily could have cut me. It could have broken my arm. But it did not. It merely bruised me deeply, leaving me hurting this morning.

How many times in a day is a person protected from harm? Is it even possible to know? Do we even attempt to account for the many ways that the Lord cares for us each day? Even the fact that the cells in our bodies continue to function properly is a miracle. The number of times that the Lord protects us from deleterious cellular mutations and invading organisms is incalculable.

Luther’s evening prayer serves as a wonderful summary and thanksgiving in this regard:

I thank Thee, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Thy dear Son, that Thou hast graciously kept me this day, and I pray Thee to forgive me all my sins, where I have done wrong, and graciously keep me this night. For into Thy hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Thy holy angel be with me, that the Wicked Foe may have no power over me. Amen.

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1 comment:

Gary Cepek said...

Pastor Siems,
We read the details of your work posting. We noticed you didn't simply say, "I sure got lucky today." We thank the Lord for your encouraging expressions of Christian faith. Truly, our reason cannot fathom how God works for those whom He has foreknew, foreseen, called, justified, and glorified. As you made clear, His plan for you, as your work days unfolded, one by one, cannot be known apart from His Words of grace in Christ; and that only through faith. It is in the Spirit through faith, therefore, that we give marvel at the One True God for allowing these acts of Fatherly discipline into your life. But even more so, for the confident and expressive faith He has worked in you. Certainly, such "things" are part of the "all things" of Romans 8:28-30, things that must serve His gracious "plan" for each of those who love Him, those whom He has called according to His plan in Christ that unfailing gets you from here to hereafter. May He continue to cause you grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Gary Cepek